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Top 5 swimmings spots in Soča Valley

While exploring Slovenia, a visit to the Soča Valley is inevitable. It’s considered to be one of the prettiest parts of the country and it’s often called a paradise for cycling, hiking and watersports. Beautiful, yet cold Soča river never reaches more than 7-14°C in its upper stream, but it’s nevertheless the place to jump into the water after a day of cycling or hiking in the valley. 

Many of our touring and mountain-biking routes pass this magical place so it’s only fair to list the places where you can actually jump into this magnificent emerald river.

1) Camp Soča

The first on the list is the confluence of Soča and Lepena rivers, located by the Camp Soča. Surrounded by forested hills and rocky mountain peaks, this swimming place is in the uppermost part of the Soča river of all the listed places. The proximity of the Soča spring can mean only one thing – the water is really cold and hardly reaches 10°C even in summer. 

But the white stone beachfront and the natural pools close to the Great Soča Gorge call for swimming and jumping in the water anyway.

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Jumping spots just next to the Great Soča Gorge (Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik)

2) Magnetic rock

The second place on the list is called magnetic rock by the locals. It’s located just a 10-min walk from the Kal-Koritnica village or from camps (Toni, Liza, Kovač and Vodenca) east of Bovec. The place is hidden in the forest and is more or less known only by the locals which means more solitude. The hanging bridge over the river only adds to the beauty of the place.

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Koritnica is a hidden swimming gem in Soča Valley

3) Napoleon’s bridge across Nadiža

Close to the village Logje some 13km away from Kobarid, Napoleon’s stone bridge across Nadiža river represents a magical place for a refreshing swim. It was built in the beginning of 19. century at the time of Napoleon’s conquest around Europe, hence its name. Surrounded by greenery you won’t be anything but amazed by this place. As a bonus, Nadiža river is warmer than Soča and reaches up to 20°C in summer.

Napoleons bridge across Nadiža_Ciril Jazbec

The stone bridge across Nadiža dates back to around 1812 (Photo: Ciril Jazbec)

4) Sotočje

The Sotočje sandy beach in Tolmin is perfect for summer swims, picnics and sunbathing. This is already a third place on this list that’s actually a confluence of two rivers – this time Soča and Tolminka rivers. Many music festivals take place here every summer, bringing a lively vibe to the city of Tolmin. 

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The famous confluence of Soča and Tolminka rivers

5) Modrej beach

Just next to the town called Most na Soči, the emerald Soča river almost completely slows down. The Modrej beach is therefore one of the safest places to swim in Soča river and also one of the warmest places – especially after the confluence with Idrijca river a 1km further from this beach. Here you also have a possibility to enjoy other water activities, such as kayaking or paddle boarding.

Modrej beach Soča Valley

At Modrej beach the Soča river almost completely slows down

Up for other activities in Soča Valley?

Cycling & mountain-biking routes

One of the MTB routes that crosses the Soča Valley is the Trans Slovenia 01 route that explores Slovenia in 7-days on a mountain-bike. It goes from the Julian Alps, across Soča Valley, through vineyards of Goriška Brda and Karst region before reaching the sunny Adriatic coast where one can relax at the beach after a week of biking.

Similar to this route, but appropriate for touring cycling or e-bikes, is the 8-day Bike Slovenia Green Alps to Adriatic route that enables you to taste the delicious and varied typical cuisine along the way. Jumping in the sea at the end is also part of this route.

MTB and cycling trails in Slovenia

Scenic landscapes make biking around Slovenia a must-do

Hiking in Soča Valley

If you’re up for some long-distance hiking routes or trekking in Slovenia that goes by the Soča Valley, we recommend the Walk of Peace trail. Although the trail goes along the former WW1 frontline, this route isn’t just about history. The ever-changing nature, landscapes and cuisine along the way are unforgettable!

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Meeting the wild goats along the Walk of Peace route

7 must-see sights of the Walk of Peace hiking route

Walk of Peace is a UNESCO protected hiking trail that goes along the former WW1 front-line on the Slovenian-Italian border. The hike starts in the Julian Alps in Slovenia and finishes 13-days later on the sunny Adriatic coast in Italy.

Our list of 7 must-see sights will show you that this route is much more than just about WW1 and the peace with the past. It’s also about the beautiful nature, local culture, authentic cuisine and present inner peace. 

In this 13-day hike you’ll:

1) Marvel at the Alps and the views

The Walk of Peace hiking route passes beautiful Alpine valleys that are surrounded by many high mountains. If you’d wish to hike to any mountain, we recommend the Krn mountain (2245m) which is easily accessible from the Kuhinja alpine pasture that’s along the way. 

Another two route viewpoints are Mrzli vrh (1359m) hill and Sabotin mountain ridge (609m). They were a place of important WW1 battles and an outdoor museum is on top of both. The first one overlooks the surrounding hills and the nearby Tolminka river and the second overlooks the emerald Soča river and the Tuscany-like wine region of Goriška Brda.

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Picturesque Alpine valleys and mountains

2) Swim in rivers, waterfalls and gorges

At the start the trail goes along the emerald Soča river which is one of the prettiest European rivers. It was even a part of the Chronicles of Narnia movie, but its freezing temperatures never go above 7-14°C. On the way, you’ll also see the magnificent Tolmin Gorge, Koritnica Gorge and Fratarica Gorge that are named after the eponymous Alpine rivers.

In the Fratarica Gorge there are two waterfalls – 8m high Katedrala waterfall and the 48m high Parabola waterfall. The latter has small turquoise ponds above and below it, so make sure to take a refreshing swim there. Otherwise, the route also passes a 15m high Kozjak waterfall. It’s hidden in a small cave and the play of light lets you marvel at its beauty.

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Some scenes from the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed in the Soča river valley

3) Walk the vineyards of Goriška Brda

If you ever wanted to visit picturesque Tuscany, you’re gonna love the Tuscany-like wine region of Goriška Brda. This region is full of vineyard hills and small romantic stone villages and it comes right after leaving the Soča river valley. To have a great panoramic view of the vineyard hills, visit the Gonjače view tower.

Since Goriška Brda are renowned for high quality wine and exquisite home-made food, we also recommend visiting some local wine cellars and trying the dry white Rebula wine which is the most typical wine of the region.

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The endless vineyards of Goriška Brda

4) Visit the Karst caves

After passing the Goriška Brda, you come to the Slovenian Karst region that’s full of disappearing springs and caves. There are more than 8.000 caves there, but only about 20 are open to the public. Many of the caves were used as military shelters during WW1 and some have also been destroyed for this reason. 

During this hiking route you can visit Cave Pečinka that was used as a military shelter during WW1 and WW2. The cave even has an artificially made passage that served as an observation post during the war and it goes from the cave to the top of the hill Pečina.

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Pečinka cave is only one of the many WW1 shelter caves

5) Take a swim in the Adriatic sea

Leaving the Karst plateau you’ll soon notice the landscape changing to the Mediterranean. When you reach the sunny coastal town of Duino you can finally take a swim in the Adriatic sea and even visit two castles that are above the city cliffs. One is open for visitors, but the other one is unfortunately in ruins. 

From there you can prolong your walk to the Rilke trail that goes along the sea and offers views over the city of Trieste which was one of the main Italian goals during WW1. Trieste is also the finish line of this 13-day long hiking route.

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Finishing the hiking tour at the sunny seaside? Yes, please

6) Enjoy tasty local food and wine

This hiking trip enables you to also immerse yourself in the authentic local cuisine and wine culture. When in Soča Valley, don’t forget to try the typical Čompa an skuta dish which is cooked potatoes served with cottage cheese. Later, in the vineyards of Goriška Brda, try the Frtalja, a traditional herbal omelette, and a glass of the dry white Rebula wine

In the Karst region we recommend trying the local prosciutto which is highly prized by gourmets. And if you’d like to have a top-level culinary experience, you can visit the Michelin starred restaurant Hiša Franko in Kobarid that’s owned by the world’s best female chef of 2017.

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Frtalja and white Rebula wine are a must-try of this hiking tour

7) Learn about the WW1

As you can see by now, the Walk of Peace isn’t just about WW1, it’s also about the outstandingly beautiful nature and local culture. Still, the trail is UNESCO protected because of its WW1 importance and the fortified tunnels, shelters, trenches, bomb craters and even machine gun emplacements that you can still see along the way.

To learn more about the history of WW1 and the Isonzo front, we encourage you to visit the outdoor museums that you pass on the route, for example the Zaprikaj, Čelo or Ravelnik outdoor museums, and the Walk of Peace Visitors Centre in Kobarid.

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On the way you can still see the WW1 trenches

Prepare for an unforgettable hiking adventure

 

The Walk of Peace hiking trail is perfect for the end of summer, autumn or spring hiking trip when the trails are empty and the temperature is more suitable. You can embark on this adventure on your own or with an organized self-guided or guided hiking tour.

Why an organized hiking tour?

  • You never get lost (24/7 assistance)
  • You visit the local hidden gems 
  • Accommodation and meals are organized
  • Baggage and start/end transfers are organized 
  • An experienced hiking guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about the WW1 and local culture 

Self-guided tours can be organized anytime. This year’s guided tour dates are:
May 30 – June 11, 2022
Sep 8 – 20, 2022

And don’t worry about the Covid-19 travel restrictions, you can book the tour risk-free. Read more about the Covid refund guarantee here.

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Making friends olong the way

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